NEW YORK (CNN) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s presidential primary election will be postponed from April 28 until June 23 amid coronavirus fears, making it the 13th presidential primary contest date change due to the virus.
“I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said Saturday during a news conference. He also extended the state’s tax filing deadline to July 15.
As of Saturday morning, New York had at least 728 reported deaths due to coronavirus and at least 52,318 reported cases, making it the state with the most reported cases in the US, according to CNN Health’s tally.
The US surpassed Italy and China this week to become the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world with more than 102,963 known cases, according to CNN’s tally. At least 1,590 people have died in the US.
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More than a third of the country’s cases are in New York — which has been in a partial lockdown for a week as officials try to slow the spread of the virus and hospitals scramble to keep up with the patients streaming in.
The rate of new cases may be slowing in New York, but Cuomo has said it may take 21 days for the state to hit its peak and begin going down.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said he is thinking about a possible “short-term, two week” quarantine for “New York, probably New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut.”
Speaking at the White House, Trump said, “We might not have to do it, but there’s a possibility sometime today” he will enact a quarantine.”
Asked about Trump’s possible quarantine comments at Saturday’s news conference, Cuomo said he and the President had not talked about it.
The governor went on to say he didn’t know what such a quarantine would mean. “I spoke to the President about the ship coming up and the four sites. I didn’t speak to him about any quarantine,” Cuomo said.
Trump said on the White House South Lawn that he had spoken with Cuomo Saturday, but then at Joint Base Andrews the President said, “I’ll speak to the governor about it later,” referring to the quarantine.
The Democratic National Committee said in a statement that its Rules and Bylaws Committee would consider how to move forward with states like New York that have moved primaries beyond June 9.
“As states continue to deal with the unknown of COVID-19, it is critical that we ensure the safety and well-being of all Americans, as well as protect and expand every American’s right to vote. That is why we encourage all remaining states to implement critical tools like vote by mail and other critical reforms to make it easier to vote,” said DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and work with state parties around their delegate selection plans, and if states move beyond the June 9th window stated in our rules, the Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet to discuss and determine next steps.”